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Storm boosts spirits at City Farmers Market

December 19, 2009|By MARIE GILBERT

HAGERSTOWN - The weather outside was frightful, with snow falling at a fast clip.

But that didn't keep some holiday shoppers from visiting the City Farmers Market to purchase last minute gifts, food and decorations Saturday morning.

If anything, said Gaela Shoop, market manager, the storm seemed to put people in a festive mood.

"We haven't had a large crowd," she said, "but everyone has been upbeat. People began arriving around 6 a.m. and we've had a steady stream ever since."

Regardless of the weather, Shoop said the market never closes.

"If people are able to get out, they know we'll be here," she said.

According to Shoop, more than half of the vendors made it to the market Saturday.

"They're a very dedicated group of people," she said. "Those who weren't here today left business cards so customers could make arrangements to pick up items they had ordered."

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The snow did affect an appearance by Santa Claus, who was scheduled to be on hand to take last-minute wish lists and pose for photographs.

"Santa's sleigh was held up," Shoop said. "It seems Rudolph's nose wasn't blinking, so he may not make it."

But there were other activities for children, including a chance to make Christmas crafts while their parents shopped.

By 10 a.m., Shoop estimated about 75 people had visited City Market.

Among them was Sylvia Costello, who walked from her home in the city's West End to do some holiday shopping.

Costello said she usually works on Saturday but had a change in her schedule and decided to visit the local market.

"I'm surprised that it's open, but happy that it is," she said.

Though some of her favorite vendors weren't present, she found other items to purchase, including some local photographs.

Costello said she is from England and is used to shopping in markets.

And snow wasn't going to keep her away.

"The diehards are here today," she said.

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